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South Med J. 2018 Apr;111(4):203-208. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000792.

Improving Underrepresented Minority in Medicine Representation in Medical School.

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From the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, the Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.



Despite the efforts of various leading organizations in medical education, representation of black students in US medical schools has declined since the mid-1990s. The Florida State University College of Medicine (FSUCOM) has undertaken efforts to increase black and other underrepresented minority in medicine (URMM) representation in medical school through the Bridge to Clinical Medicine Program. This program is described and analyzed by the authors.


Demographic information, Medical College Admission Test scores, undergraduate grade point average, US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores (Steps 1 and 2), residency match information, and current practice location from 2006 to 2015 were collected from the FSUCOM. Data were analyzed using SAS and linear regression analyses were performed, comparing Bridge students with the College of Medicine and national averages.


Sixty percent of Bridge students were black, 21% were other URMM, and the remainder were non-URMM. Black Bridge students scored 7.4 points lower on their Medical College Admission Test, and other-URMM Bridge students scored 6.0 points lower (P < 0.0001) than their non-URMM non-Bridge classmates. Black Bridge students also started with a grade point average that was 0.28 points lower than their non-URMM non-Bridge counterparts, but there was no statistical difference for other-URMM Bridge students. Black students, regardless of Bridge participation, were less likely to pass USMLE Step 1 when compared with non-URMM classmates (P < 0.0001). For USMLE Step 2, however, there were no significant differences in passing rates for Bridge students compared with non-Bridge students.


The FSUCOM Bridge program has not only increased its URMM enrollment but it also has effectively doubled the number of black students in its medical college. Other universities could produce similar results using the program outlined in this article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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